Six candidates are contesting the Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale seat which is being defended by David Mundell, who was Scotland’s only Conservative MP in the last parliament. In 2010 he increased his share of the vote and secured a majority of 4,194 over Labour who saw their percentage share of the vote fall.
Scottish Labour Party
We have the chance, not only in the UK and Scotland, but here in DCT, to choose change with a Labour government and a local MP who will fight for the issues that matter to you, will report back to you, be clearly and transparently accountable to help put us back onto the road to a fairer economy which works for us all, not just those at the top.
Labour’s message is that when working people succeed, our country succeeds. Our plan for working families is focused on rewarding the hard work they do and saving the NHS they rely on.
It is blatantly obvious that the SNP are only interested in one goal. The SNP candidate in Renfrewshire South insisted “we will twist their arms and get another referendum”. The Conservatives are delighted with this and, worried about losing power, have chosen to talk up the prospects of the SNP and pit English nationalism against Scottish nationalism.
Nick Clegg is now spilling the beans on his time attempting to rein in the Tories whilst he was in power, with frightening tales of even more attempts by David Cameron to target the most vulnerable of our society.
Scottish National Party
While other candidates are campaigning on fear and division, I am setting out policies that support the NHS, help those in poverty wherever they live, support women and young people, and back business in all parts of Scotland and the UK, not just the urban centres.
A fair deal must be delivered for our rural area.
The Scottish Government has prioritised the rural economy and is working to strengthen our rural communities. This includes measures such as the small business bonus, as well as infrastructure investment like the A75 upgrade and Borders Railway.
At Westminster, I will seek the same level of commitment to our rural industries and communities. The SNP will scrutinise UK government actions at an EU level to ensure that our farming industry receives full backing.
I will support a Universal Service Obligation for broadband services, and fight for a fair deal on fuel prices for rural areas. I will also fight to protect Royal Mail’s Universal Service Obligation, and maintenance of the 30% government share of Royal Mail in order to protect the public.
Scottish Green Party
Scottish Greens are standing on three key issues.
We are standing for equality not poverty, which calls for an immediate rise of the national minimum wage to a living wage of £7.85, with a scaled increase to £10 per hour by 2020. This is the best way to not only bring working people out of poverty, but to ensure we have an economy that puts people first.
We stand for public services in public hands.
Specifically, we saw that when the East Coast Main Line was placed back into public hands it received one of the lowest subsidies in the UK, while delivering unusually-high customer service satisfaction ratings and in that time it sent £1billion back to the Treasury.
We stand for power to communities. Shifting power from Westminster to Holyrood is a start, but centralising power in Edinburgh instead of London does not solve the problems. We want to see more local democracy and community empowerment.
We are an anti-austerity, anti-Trident, anti-TTIP and anti-fracking party. We believe all of these things will only heighten the problems we have in the UK.
Scottish Liberal Democrats
After graduating in biochemistry from the University of Bath, I worked in the pharmaceutical industry until I left full-time employment to bring up my family. I had had several part time jobs, ranging from a lecturer at Middlesex University to a stable hand.
Our family has lived in the constituency since 1998, first in Walkerburn and then in Peebles, where I was active within the community.
I was a member and then chairman of Priorsford Primary School PTA. When my youngest child moved to Peebles High School, I joined the school board. In 2009 I was elected to Peebles Community Council. I have also been a long-time member of Walkerburn WI, serving on local and national committees.
I believe my record shows my commitment to improving the lives of people within my community. I recognise rural residents often do not have access to services in the same way as those in urban areas, and I campaign for improvements in this regard.
If elected, I will work to benefit constituents, the people of Scotland and the UK. It is my goal to ensure Britain is a fair and equitable society.
Scottish Conservative and Unionist
I am standing on my 10-year record as a hard-working MP committed to local communities – the hundreds of surgeries I have held and the thousands of people I have helped; the local campaigns I have fought and the resources I have secured for the area; the 1,900 new jobs created since 2010 and the halving of youth unemployment across the constituency; and my detailed plan, that I have published, for the future economic prosperity of our area to create jobs for young people and to sustain vibrant local communities.
We need an experienced local MP who will speak out for the unique needs of this rural area, particularly against Central Belt dominance. An MP who has delivered on reducing fuel duty, will continue to campaign for community healthcare, improved transport links, superfast broadband, better mobile reception and is against more wind farms. An MP committed to Scotland in the UK.
I would never accept plans to close Hay Lodge Hospital and believe that further development in the Peebles area should not go ahead without the infrastructure and services to support it.
Having spent all my adult life in the Southern Uplands, I cherish this part of the country, but over the last few years I am saddened to have witnessed the sad decline shared by so many rural areas.
Farms selling out to forestry, destroying natural habitats and local communities, local pubs calling last orders for the final time and wind farms scarring our hillsides. On the high street in our towns, well-known local businesses lie boarded up or replaced by charity shops. And despite this, politicians have done nothing.
As a small businessman, running a caravan park in the Borders for over 20 years, I know better than most the hardship caused by the tide of red tape from Brussels. As a passionate believer in freedom, I have campaigned for Britain’s withdrawal from the EU for many years. And as a patriot, I believe in Scotland’s place at the heart of a United Kingdom.
UKIP offers the change we so desperately need; common-sense policies that will revitalise this area and help us get our country back.
Vote for me to give this area the independent voice we so desperately need.